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Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 2nd, 2009 9:56 am
by yds
Looking to finally pick up a snow thrower this year. Was at the Home Depot last night, and saw the lineup they have. In addition to the Ariens throwers (which RFDer's seem to like), they have a Sno-Tek brand, which indicates is made by Ariens. The price on these models is a fair bit cheaper than the Ariens models.

I'm looking at the Ariens 24" compact, vs the Sno-Tek 24". Anybody know anymore details or have experience with these Sno-Teks? Haven't been able to find anything online (in fact Ariens website doesn't even list the Sno-Tek brand).

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 13th, 2009 9:22 am
by eelfliw
Sno-Tek chassis is made by Ariens but with Chinese made LCT engine. The lower cost engine allows Ariens to sell the snow blower for lower cost to gain a bigger market share.

If you get a chance to go to HD, have a close look at both the Ariens & Sno-Tek. Aside from the engine, the 2 are nearly identical (save for the black vs orange color).

I believe Sno-Tek is an experiment by Ariens to get into the lower end market with a top end machine by lowering the cost of the engine. Instead of sourcing the engine from Briggs & Stratten, they source it from LCT.

Judging by the sales locally, this strategy is working. HDs in Toronto area completely sold out of the 22" and even some 24" blowers. If this trend applies nationally, we may see other brands start to adopt Ariens' strategy of sourcing the engine (or other components they don't make themselves) from offshore companies to help reduce cost.

Global sourcing is a wonderful strategy to keep the costs low (so Ariens can keep its manufacturing lines operating) while satisfying demand for lower cost blowers. The only catch is, if LCT fails to deliver, then this will blow up for Ariens. That's why they formed a new brand name which they can collapse without hurting Ariens if it doesn't work out.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 13th, 2009 9:12 pm
by yds
Thanks for the info eelfliw. Very helpful. I did have a boo at them at the local HD and they did look very identical.

Incidentally, I was looking on the Sears website for what models of throwers they had, and came across this one: http://www.sears.ca/gp/product/B002KS1E ... nodeid=APS.

Looks like a decent deal.

Anyone got opinions on this one?

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 14th, 2009 12:22 am
by pmc
yds wrote:
Sep 13th, 2009 9:12 pm
Thanks for the info eelfliw. Very helpful. I did have a boo at them at the local HD and they did look very identical.

Incidentally, I was looking on the Sears website for what models of throwers they had, and came across this one: http://www.sears.ca/gp/product/B002KS1E ... nodeid=APS.

Looks like a decent deal.

Anyone got opinions on this one?
I would say yes because as i was looking at it in the store today....it had a $13xx price tag on it vs $10xx in your link and it had a B&S motor, well that's what was stamped? on it.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 14th, 2009 10:04 am
by kyfe
I bought the snowtek, considering the amount of times I will need to use it in winter 10-15 I don't see why I needed to double the price just to get a certain engine. it's an ariens so the quality should be comparable and the engine looks decent enough

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 22nd, 2009 9:50 pm
by obsoletepower
Just bought a 22" Ariens Sno-Tek thrower from Home Depot (was hard to find but now they brought loads of stock) and I was wondering if anyone knows if and where I can get an electric starter for it. It does have the LCT Storm Force engine but I cannot find any info on an available option. The engine manual lists the electric starter kit as an available option. Thanks in advance!

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Sep 23rd, 2009 10:07 am
by Mr Nobody
obsoletepower wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2009 9:50 pm
Just bought a 22" Ariens Sno-Tek thrower from Home Depot (was hard to find but now they brought loads of stock) and I was wondering if anyone knows if and where I can get an electric starter for it. It does have the LCT Storm Force engine but I cannot find any info on an available option. The engine manual lists the electric starter kit as an available option. Thanks in advance!
Check with a lawn/gardening dealer that sells Ariens. I'm sure they can order it.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 10th, 2009 3:40 pm
by rahulvan
Comparing Ariens (say Compact 20) with SnoTek 208cc 22", (apart from engine/electric start) what else is different? By buying Chinese LCT made engine (as against Briggs & Stratton), what exactly am I compromising (in light of maintenance after warranty period)? :confused:

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 11th, 2009 12:57 am
by jjtsl
obsoletepower wrote:
Sep 22nd, 2009 9:50 pm
Just bought a 22" Ariens Sno-Tek thrower from Home Depot (was hard to find but now they brought loads of stock) and I was wondering if anyone knows if and where I can get an electric starter for it. It does have the LCT Storm Force engine but I cannot find any info on an available option. The engine manual lists the electric starter kit as an available option. Thanks in advance!
Any luck on finding the electric starter kit and for how much?

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 12th, 2009 8:20 pm
by mart242
Ariens compact 24: 1139$. Sno-Tek 24 = 699$... I highly doubt that they've only changed the engine.. it's not like the B&S costs Ariens an extra 500$ compared to the LCT.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 19th, 2009 9:58 am
by obsoletepower
jjtsl wrote:
Oct 11th, 2009 12:57 am
Any luck on finding the electric starter kit and for how much?
Not yet, I have e-mailed Ariens a couple times as well as scoured the web but no luck thus far. I have a strong feeling that the LCT Storm Force engine is not built for electric start. I will keep searching until I hear from an official or an expert. I'll keep you posted.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 19th, 2009 10:22 am
by wackojacko
obsoletepower wrote:
Oct 19th, 2009 9:58 am
Not yet, I have e-mailed Ariens a couple times as well as scoured the web but no luck thus far. I have a strong feeling that the LCT Storm Force engine is not built for electric start. I will keep searching until I hear from an official or an expert. I'll keep you posted.
Check out LCT's site,

http://www.lctusa.com/images/208Snowsalesheet.pdf

It shows a 120 Volt electric start. Maybe try contacting them directly.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 21st, 2009 11:25 pm
by RFBernie
I compared Sno-Tek and Ariens specs on Home Depot site. 1 forward speed vs. 6 forward/2 reverse; manual vs. electric start. Also compare the gear cases on the auger. Are they the same or is one heavier duty?

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2009 12:25 pm
by jjtsl
obsoletepower wrote:
Oct 19th, 2009 9:58 am
Not yet, I have e-mailed Ariens a couple times as well as scoured the web but no luck thus far. I have a strong feeling that the LCT Storm Force engine is not built for electric start. I will keep searching until I hear from an official or an expert. I'll keep you posted.
Thanks for the update. I've seen in Costco the Poulan 24" snowblowers with the LCT Storm Force engine and it comes with electric start for $799. If I knew that Costco was going to have this, I would have bought from them, just becoz I prefer to deal with them than HD in case anything happens along the way.

Re: Sno-Tek vs Ariens

Posted: Oct 22nd, 2009 1:34 pm
by stealth
I went for the Ariens Compact 24.
I know it costs significantly more, but I've wasted too much time and $ on flaky snowblowers that dont start when you need them. I know they only get used 10x a yr, but if they wont start at those times (not saying that will be true of the LCT) then its worthless to me at any price.
I bought mine last weekend when they gave a $200. gift card with it, so the price difference wasnt that big.

I once also made a huge error when buying a boat. I could have chosen an industry standard Mercruiser sterndrive motor or a new Yamaha sterndrive motor. I asked the sales guy, he said get the Yamaha. 3 years later, Yamaha stopped making sterndrives and now its nearly impossible finding anyone who knows how or is willing to service the damn thing, not to mention an almost non existent parts supply. So its been sitting in the shop of a backyard mechanic for the past 2 years for when he has time to dabble with it. I wish the goddam thing would catch fire so I can forget about it and move on.
Not taking chances with lesser known motors ever again.